Monday, January 11, 2010
Achieving Balance (Through Libertarians)
When I voice my support for Ron Paul or any libertarian oriented candidate, the usual response is "how can you support someone who wants to legalize crack and eliminate the minimum wage...do you support those positions?!?"
Although I do not see eye to eye with Dr. Paul on these issues, I find the reservations of these individuals to be unreasonable. They presuppose that Dr. Paul or any libertarian would be able to push through their entire platform to its extreme, in the context of a legislative, judicial and (presumably) an executive branch that would resist many of its tenants.
In a system that (for good and for bad) centers around compromise, a libertarian's more "radical" and "distasteful" positions and policies would be defeated and (if their power were sufficient) positive compromises would emerge.
For example, they would never be able to legalize crack, but they may be able to push through the decriminalization of marijuana and a transition to a more humane system that treats drug addiction as a medical and psychological issue, rather than a criminal one.
This principle applies to a host of issues. For example, they would never be able to eliminate the welfare state. but they may be able to push it in a direction that limits the pathological, long term dependency of many of its users.
While they would not be able to eliminate America's overseas military presence, they may be able to revive the founding father's reservations about needlessly getting involved in the conflicts of other nations.
And while they would never garnish sufficient public support to eliminate all state intervention in the economy, they hopefully could end the more egregious examples, like agricultural subsidies that go primarily towards large agro-corporations, including tobacco growers.
In other words, they may be able to push the economic and political system towards greater balance and equilibrium. In this case they may be able to help move us away from dangerous growth in the size and scope of the state that has led to: spiralling national debt, fundamental market distortions, endless warfare and a growing disregard for individual liberty.